Birthday Gift Ideas From Around the World

Here are a few birthday gift ideas for the child who seems to have everything.

Nesting dolls originated in Russia, and they can adhere to almost any theme. This includes fairy tale characters, animals, famous people, and in recent years, glossy photos of the birthday boy or girl at different ages.

In Western society, the balero is called a "ball in a cup," but there are several variations of this game. In Japan, a more complex version exists of the ball and cup and is called "kendama." It has two depressed dishes and a spike on which to catch the ball, facilitating a wide variety of moves and catches.

Pinatas are a favorite in Mexico. It is constructed with the intent of being smashed to bits revealing candy or small toys inside. This is an especially appropriate gift, as the contents can be shared with family and friends.

In South Africa, the parents of the birthday child hand craft a key out of paper, aluminum, card stock, silver or gold. The key is given to the birthday child as a sign that the child is ready to unlock the door to their bright, new future.

A similar tradition is carried out in New Zealand when the birthday boy or girl turns 21. They are given the key to their parent's home symbolizing the new freedoms and responsibilities one acquires as an adult.

In Vietnam, all people celebrate their birthday on New Year's Day. On this day parents assemble a red envelope filled with money as a birthday gift for the special boy or girl.

Finally, Guatemalan children receive tiny dolls on their birthday to tell their worries to before placing them underneath their pillow. When the child awakes, the dolls are said to have taken their worries away during the night.